Milan 2009 - Northern Exposure

Northern European manufacturers held their own against the Italian Superbrands with their endless whites. Most notable was the new collection from Normann Copenhagen (Denmark), in particular designs by Ole Jensen - ‘Collect’ and ‘Memory’. Collect in its acid green against the stands black walls stood out this year as a fun but practical shelving unit made to house your mementos and trinkets. Designed to partner Memory, an oversized ‘warm and friendly’ caricature of an armchair which needs to be sat in to get the full effect. Made to ponder and reminisce, Memory is not a chair for you to read a book in or relax in front of the TV, but rather boldly is designed to make you do nothing but think! With upward angled arm rests and a straight back, sitting in it is akin to sitting in a lotus position, but much more comfortable. Great looking, fun but serious…I want this chair!

The trend to use furniture to slow down and insulate yourself against the speed of modern life continued on Bla Station (Sweden) with ‘Koja’ by Fredrik Mattson, a beautiful high backed chair (and sofa) mixing hand-crafted solid ash with soft fabrics and pillows. Koja continues a trend started by Bla Station with their earlier offering ‘Peekaboo’ which sought to block out the exterior bustle through shielding the sitter. Koja achieves the same effect by creating a soft, autonomous space separate from the outside noise…comfortable, stylish, clever!